Gender based violence continues unabated and with concrete discussion in our families and villages, while sexual abuses are causing thousands of teen pregnancies with devastating consequences on girls’ lives, on their families and on the country as a whole.
In theory, our society prohibit such abuses, and the government has promulgated even law on prevention and punishment of gender- based violence, set out policy and strategies against Gender based violence, fortunately, the Rwandan government has shown a strong political will to eradicate SGBV. But laws alone are not sufficient, concrete actions, frank discussion are needed to end SGBV, and to ensure that everyone is capable to fully enjoy his/her rights and achieve full potential.
Community campaign like the one recently conducted by the Rwanda Interfaith council on health , for instance, are critical in rallying citizens to speak out against SGBV, and it is one big activity of Twiceceka Activity. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness of Nyabihu community of current situation of SGBV, existing prevention and response to GBV, engage parents on child rights, and responsibilities, and fight against teen pregnancy, and educate people that they should speak out against SGBV.
This community campaign was conceived after, RICH and partners have find out that many SGBV victims do not seek help, with increased awareness, RICH hope that the number will change.
This time, the campaign went in Nyabihu district; it was attended by more than 1000 people from Kabatwa sector, and neighboring Bigogwe and Jenda sector.
Addressing citizens, the vice mayor in charge of social affairs in Nyabihu district, Simpenzwe Pascal urged to attendants to speak out against SGBV.
CIP Nzabamwita Thomas, Kabatwa Sector Police Commander, reminded the citizens that the government will not tolerate SGBV perpetrators, and their responsibility is to report perpetrators to the Police and RIB in order to end SGBV in their villages and the whole country.
CIP Nzabamwita Thomas reminded the participants that GBV is a crime punishable by laws
On the other side, Kabatwa HC representative, Undimukobwa Marie explained the role and the service offered by Isange One Stop center to the victims and called upon victims to seek help immediately at IOSC since the services are free of charge.
Uwase Beza Charity, from Women for Women International, emphasized on how is important for the society to reports SGBV perpetrators. Apart from that, Twiceceka activities are meant to rally citizens into agents of change; regarding this, Charity urged Nyabihu citizens attending the campaign to become the agents of change in the villages.
This project is seeking to address gender based violence through the promotion of speak out culture; it is funded by USAID, the project is a partnership of Women for women with a consortium of Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health (RICH), Umuhuza and Action pour le Development du Peuple (ADEPE). The project operates in 3 districts, RICH in Nyabihu, UMUHUZA in Ngororero and ADEPE in Musanze.